Family Man

He said "Leave me alone, I'm a family man and my bark is much worse than my bite."
Mike Oldfield feat. Maggie Reilly - Family Man

Part of The Parent Trope, an Always Male one.

A man who's loyal to his own family, the one he made (with a wife/fiancee and children) as well the one he's part of (with parents and sibilings). As the former, he could be a House Husband or well a Lazy Husband, but anyway he's loyal to his family and won't do anything to harm them, like being a cheater, an abusive or a workaholic. As the latter, he probably has the Big Brother Instinct or being Promoted To Parent, but in both cases he wants his family united and will do anything to achieve this.

Compare House Husband, Big Brother Instinct, Promotion to Parent and Action Dad. Contrast Married to the Job, Workaholic, Your Cheating Heart and When You Coming Home, Dad?. See also Family Values Villain. Not to be confused with Family Man webcomic, BBC's The Family Man miniseries or Family Guy, which have nothing to do with this trope except the name.


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     Anime and Manga  

  • Kojiro Hyuga from Captain Tsubasa series, who works harder to maintain his family with humble origins, despite his mother's complaints that he stop being the "father" (she's a widow) and dedicate himself to his passion (be a football/soccer player.)
  • Of all Z-Warriors in Dragon Ball Z, probably Krilin and Gohan are the ones which this trope goes straight. In the other part, Goku and Vegeta are a kind of subversion, but anyway are considerated as "family men" by their close ones. Also Piccolo is considerated as this for raise Gohan after Goku's first death at the hands of Raditz and in general being like a second father for him.

     Films — Animated  

  • Gru from Despicable Me films is considered a "family man" because of his treatment of his Minions, not hesitating to rescue them if they're in trouble (as seen in DM2.) This trope becomes straight when he adopts and later cares about the 3 young orphaned girls who ended up loving him as a real father.

     Films — Live-Action  

  • The Family Man is probably the Trope Namer and Trope Codifier. A successful but lonely businessman who has a What If? scenario in which he has a family with his ex-girlfriend from college instead being a successful man he's now.
  • The Taken trilogy is about a Retired Badass Action Dad who has his family kidnapped or killed (his ex-wife in the third movie) and how he'll Kill 'em All whoever behind this.
  • Various of Arnold Schwarzenegger movies in The '90s are about this: True Lies (a Secret Agent that works undercover of his own family), Jingle All the Way (a father that looks for the "perfect gift" for his son, which is the Title Drop for Latin American title for this film) and Junior (a couple that can't get children so he offers to be the "mother" in an experimental in-vitro pregnancy).
  • Also, his fellow friend and rival Sylvester Stallone made various films like this. The most remarkable ones are the Rocky series, in which Rocky Balboa is seen as a family man for care of his girlfriend and future wife Adrian and his son, this relationship is taken deeply in the 2006 film, Rocky Balboa.
  • Nicolas Cage as Cameron Poe in Con Air: He's convicted of murder for defending his pregnant wife from a knife wielding drunkard, and proceeds to spend his time in prison writing letters to the wife he left behind and the daughter he never met (being locked away before her birth). He works hard to be an exemplary inmate, and gets out on parole for good behavior. Unfortunately, he also gets on a plane full of ultra-violet prisoners bound for a new super-max facility, who end up hijacking the plane. Poe spends the rest of the movie squaring off with various and sundry criminals and murderers so he can get back to his family.
  • The Godfather film series as well good part of mafia films are about this concept of the "family man" and the loyalty towards the family, being the wife and children as well the parents and sibilings, no matter the cost.
  • In Star Wars saga, probably the most fitted character for this trope is Anakin Skywalker, loving his mother Shmi and wanting to make a family with Padme. Even in his Darth Vader persona, he recognizes Luke as his son and wanting to rule the galaxy with him.

     Light Novels  


  • A Song of Ice and Fire (and for extension Game of Thrones):
    • Tywin Lannister is this the worst way possible. He does everything to bring glory to his family and to ensure his legacy. Under his rule house Lannister becomes the most powerful family in the Seven Kingdoms. This doesn't mean that he is very kind to his children, though, as they mostly despise the decisions he made for their lives.
    Tywin: The house that puts family first will always defeat the house that puts the whims and wishes of its sons and daughters first.
    • Cersei Lannister would do anything to protect her children and Jaime. When Tywin died she takes over the position as the head of house Lannister. She is not nearly as skilled as her father, so in the end her actions lead to the deaths of her two remaining children.
    • Catelyn Stark, nee Tully is this as well, being the Foil to Cersei. She starts an entire war to free her husband and daughters from captivity. Sadly she fails to do so and gets killed after watching the murder of her first born son and most of her other family members either dead, or thought to be dead. Only in the books, however, she gets the ultimate revenge, by getting reanimated and starts killing anyone who ever wronged her family in any way. It is only fitting that her families words are "Family, Duty, Honor" in this order.
  • In The Curse of Chalion, Martou dy Jironal's love of and loyalty to his family is the virtue that the titular curse twists and corrupts, turning him into a nepotistic Evil Chancellor who puts family ambition above the good of Chalion.

     Live-Action TV  

  • Most of American Sitcom of The '80s and The '90s starring men are about this trope, especially from Miller-Boyett Productions.
    • Some of the most known Sitcom series from those decades (not just from Miller-Boyett) are Full House, a widowed father who enlists his best friend and brother-in-law to help raise his three daughters; Step by Step, two single parents (each with three children), who spontaneously get married after meeting one another during a vacation, resulting in the two of them becoming the heads of a large blended family; Family Matters (Spin-Off of Perfect Strangers), a police officer with a wife, a son and 2 daughters; and Who's the Boss?, a retired major league baseball player who relocates to Fairfield, Connecticut to work as a live-in housekeeper for a divorced advertising executive and who has a daughter.
    • There are 2 series named after this title: The Family Man (also made by Miller-Boyett Productions; a recent widower holding his family together as both a mother and a father, along with the inept help of his father-in-law) and Family Man (made by Earl Pomerantz; a middle-aged comedy writer married to a much younger wife, and focused on the trials and tribulations he faced raising two stepchildren and one biological child) which have various things in common despised of being 2 different series: this trope, the series titles (only differenced by "The") and both having the main theme made by Jesse Frederick.
  • There's a Hong Kong comedy-drama series called literally "Best Dad Ever", but which is known as Family Man. The series is about a widower who raised his four daughters alone. He is also a retired police officer who still participates as a saxophonist in the policeman band. Besides being a devoted father who still cares for his daughters, he is constantly worried about their lives, romances and happiness.
  • Just as the mafia films, The Soprano is also about the family and the patriarch who wants to get their family united, no matter the cost.
  • Breaking Bad's Walter White is a man worried about his family and especially for his children, before and after becoming a drug lord.


  • There are various songs which has the "Family Man" as the title of the song:
    • Mike Oldfield's version, sung by Maggie Reilly (also reversioned by Hall & Oates) is about a man who is being solicited by a prostitute and his protestations because he is a "family man." The original version has the woman (Reilly) storming off after his rejection. The cover version is sung from the man's perspective and has some altered lyrics, including a line in which the man finally gets the nerve to take up the woman's offer, but she has left, and he screams out the chorus.
    • Fleetwood Mac's version, which is about the difficulties of a family man, but who succeeds after all because of his family.
    I am what I am, a family man.

     Video Games  

  • In Crusader Kings 2 with the Way of Life DLC the family focus makes you this, in regularly giving you bonuses to relationships with your close family members and your spouse. It can also earn you the family patriarch/matriarch flag.
  • In God of War Series, Kratos was a kind of celestial hitman who had a family before he loved deeply, a wife and a daughter. After being controlled by Ares to kill his own family, Kratos went into a Roaring Rampage of Revenge not just against Ares, but the whole Greek Olympic Pantheon.
  • Guile from Street Fighter literally has this as one of his winning Catchphrases ("Go home and be a family man!"). He has a wife and daughter who he loves very much. Other characters that fit this include Ken Masters, who forms a family after the second game, and Hakan, who has a wife and several daughters that idolize him.
  • In The King of Fighters series, there's Goro Daimon from Japan Team, a bulky Judoka that participate in several years in KOF Tournament who has a wife. When he knew about having a child, he retired temporarily from the team to get quality time with his wife and his baby. In 2D games since 2001, a baby Daimon can be seen in Goro's intro for a while.

     Western Animation  

  • Homer from The Simpsons, who tried to keep the family united in the end. Or at least he tried to. Sometimes is subverted because of being an Abusive Parent, especially with Bart, but in the end he loves his children. Ned Flanders and Apu Nahasapeemapetilon are going more straight with this trope than Homer, by the way.
  • Some series from Hanna-Barbera, especially The Flintstones and The Jetsons are basically animated Sitcoms of family men (Fred Flintstone and George Jetson) and their relationship with their families, with ambientation on Prehistoric Age and Space Age, respectively.
  • Averted with Family Guy and in general all Seth MacFarlane series (like American Dad! and The Cleveland Show), in which the "family man" is just In-Name-Only. Maybe just invoked in their intro songs, but just that.